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Healing as Justice: The Navajo Response to Crime.

Yazzie, Robert
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 121-133.

“When the Navajo courts define law, we must consider norms. Norms are values and shared feelings about the way we do things. Sometimes Navajo say, ‘Do things in a good way.’ As Indians, we know what it means to do things in a good way. Therefore, the people’s shared feelings fill in that broad term of law to give it meaning. We must also consider moral values in the definition of law. Too often, people reject the word morality because of its religious overtones. But it means something more: it is shared feelings about the right path. To complete the definition of law, the traditional Indian ‘institutions’ must be included: family; clan; ceremonial bodies or societies; and even people dealing with each other.” (excerpt)


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